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By Pierre Asselin

Demonstrating the centrality of international relations within the Vietnam conflict, Pierre Asselin lines the key negotiations that led as much as the Paris contract of 1973, which ended America's involvement yet did not convey peace in Vietnam. as the facets signed the contract lower than duress, he argues, the peace it promised used to be doomed to solve.

By January of 1973, the ongoing army stalemate and mounting problems at the household entrance pressured either Washington and Hanoi to finish that signing a imprecise and principally unworkable peace contract used to be the main expedient solution to in achieving their such a lot urgent targets. For Washington, these targets incorporated the discharge of yankee prisoners, army withdrawal with out formal capitulation, and upkeep of yank credibility within the chilly battle. Hanoi, however, sought to safe the elimination of yankee forces, defend the socialist revolution within the North, and enhance the customers for reunification with the South. utilizing newly to be had archival resources from Vietnam, the us, and Canada, Asselin reconstructs the key negotiations, highlighting the artistic roles of Hanoi, the nationwide Liberation entrance, and Saigon in developing the ultimate cost.

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Extra resources for A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement

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The faith in Marxism-Leninism was unshaken. ‘‘The most indispensable foundation for socialism is heavy industry,’’ VWP general secretary Le Duan said, reminding the party faithful of Lenin’s words. ’’61 On a less ideological level, the economy had to be strengthened because the DRVN could not depend forever on assistance from the Soviet Union and on the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Dependence was contrary to Vietnamese pride and the national ethic. It carried with it dangers to the credibility of the party and the government.

116 The attack, however, had damaging reverberations in the United States. There, critics of the war denounced the incursion as a provocative and intolerable escalation at a time when Nixon was assuring the American people he was winding down the war. Student riots and the fatal shooting of four students at Kent State University on 4 May came in the wake of the incursion and symbolized the widening gap between the administration and the burgeoning antiwar movement. Such incidents prompted talk in Congress 23 24 The First Round of constitutional amendments or other measures to limit Nixon’s authority to conduct the war or to impose deadlines for ending American involvement and withdrawing American forces.

113 Stress on the Cambodian front increased after Washington and Saigon The First Round deployed ground forces into that country in 1970. Since 1959, North Vietnam had been infiltrating men and supplies into the South via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Also over the years, PAVN and NLF units had sought sanctuary from ground attacks by retreating into those officially neutral countries. The objectives of Washington and Saigon in invading Cambodia were to disrupt these supply lines and rear bases and put PAVN and NLF forces there on the defensive.

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